Perils of gardening with chemicals

Reader writes there are many non-toxic alternatives to pesticides and herbicides

Spring has sprung so it must be time for my yearly letter to the Sooke News Mirror on the perils of gardening with chemicals.

Pesticides have been around for 70 years, yet weeds, pests and diseases that attack plants have, if anything, become worse because they have become resistant to all these chemicals, much like the bacterial “super bugs” have become resistant to antibiotics (do we see a pattern here?).

This means you have to spray more often using more toxic chemicals every year. Pesticides and herbicides/fungicides are responsible for adding extra estrogen-like chemicals to our bodies. Many cause gene mutations or are neuro (brain) toxins.

Glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup, once touted as safe because it kills bacteria, not humans, has been shown to be anything but, considering that we are 90 per cent bacteria.

The bacteria that reside in our guts, in the lining all of our mucous membranes and on our skin are our first line of defense against pathogens. They protect our brain from toxins and facilitate uptake of nutrients from our food.

Glyphosate is also deadly to the bacteria in the soil. Soil bacteria keep the soil free of pathogens such as e-coli and are necessary for the uptake of minerals into crops.

When you put these chemicals on your lawn, everyone, including pets, neighbors gathered for a barbecue and little children running around are exposing themselves to serious toxins. All it takes are minute amounts (especially in children) to disrupt the delicate balance of the body.

There are many non-toxic alternatives to pesticides and herbicides available and myriads of websites, books and farmers in the community that can teach us about them. Not using household pesticides is a personal decision that can make a big difference in the increasingly heavy toxin burden we all face.

Jo Phillips

Otter Point

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sooke temporary homeless shelter packs up early

Occupants to leave facility by June 22

MISSING: High-risk woman last seen on May 25

Police are asking for the public’s help in locating Jennifer Daughinee-Mendelson

CRD to consider plan for mountain biking trails at Mount Work

SIMBS seek new trails in Hartland, Partridge Hills

More than 1,500 people expected at Victoria peace rally for Black lives

‘To speak up, all you need is a voice and the will to be heard’

Oak Bay clinic opens virtual classes to public for fundraiser

Patient activity is up for cancer-supporting clinic during COVID-19 crisis

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Vancouver Island First Nations gather to remember woman fatally shot by police

Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council requests an independent investigation

Cortes Island affordable housing project hangs by a thread

Regional decision makers resort to COVID-19 concerns despite virtual meeting option and push hearing to September

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

North Island recreation camping site closed due to vandalism

Damage happens every year, forcing site manager to reallocate improvement budget to repairs

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

Most Read